Just participated in the Nanaimo Art Walk. What a wonderful experience and a great introduction to the Nanaimo Art Community and to the art loving public. I was hosted by Dione and Renee at the Stitcher's Muse at 90 Commercial Ave. What a beautiful store they have, a haven for stitcher's and sewers where you can find any took or material you are looking for. They opened up their front windows for me so that I could really show my work.
We had about 160 visitors on Saturday and another hundred on Sunday. It was wonderful to watch all the different reactions to my work, and to engage in conversation about art and life with those that were interested. Almost every piece received special attention from one viewer or another - although there were definitely a few that were the most popular.
I was also able to steal away and see what everyone else was doing thanks to the amazing support I had from friends at Pacific Gardens. Thanks to Judith and Lee and Mona and Louise, and of course to my amazing partner Ron who packed and hauled everything for me. (Having a deserved rest on the left.)
I realized from conversations that for many of us the important thing was not "selling something," although luckily I did. Rather we do this work for the love of it, because it calls us, or because it puts us in touch with our inner muse. It connects us to our source of spirituality, meaning and purpose. It is our connection to the universe and all that is. We love to share it and really appreciate it when someone has time to stop and talk.
When I went on my own walk about I tried to take time to stop and connect with as many artists as I could and find out how they worked, what their medium was, and why it was important to them. It's always great to see new approaches and ideas. And I was grateful for the many other artists who dropped in to see me.
I also had some inner growth during the experience. Somehow I felt lifted out of the usual negative messages. Will I sell something? Am I good enough? If I don't sell it means nobody liked it. So many people hung over some of my pictures -- particularly Singing Lily, Rose, High Water in Spring, and Gratitude, wishing they had the money. The person who did buy came beetling around the corner and went straight to Gratitude. That was what she wanted. The decision to put a piece of art permanently on your wall at home has so many factors. First, do you love it. Second, can you live with it for a long time. Will it grow on you? Will it stimulate your exploration? Third, will it fit your colour scheme or will you have to redecorate? Forth, can you afford it? You can't determine whether or not your work is good just by whether or not you made a sale. It is a matter of serendipity whether all the right circumstances walk in the door to want your particular art. But whether they do or they don't, your art still produces enjoyment for you and others. I felt free of all those old messages. It was like floating on clouds.
Thanks so much to the organizers of the art walk, especially Gerda Hoffman and Willow from Iron Oxides. What a great community building experience.